Green Energy Data Collected

Platts Research and Consulting’s, E Source Green Energy Service has completed the first-ever compilation of aggregated, detailed information about the marketing efforts and sales results of 13 North American utilities that currently sell green energy. Platts is the energy information, research, consulting and marketing services business of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

BOULDER, Colorado – May 3, 2002 [Solar Access] “These aggregate data provide a rare window into utilities’ green energy marketing efforts and one of the many lessons learned is that the market for green energy is still very young and relatively unsophisticated,” said Adam Capage, manager of the study and director of the E Source Green Energy Service at Platts Research and Consulting. The information includes total marketing budgets and a breakdown of those budgets by marketing channel. The utilities represent several regions of the U.S. and Canada and participants are split among municipal and publicly traded utilities. Platts Research and Consulting/E Source estimates the total U.S. market size for green energy is about 8,500,000 households – approximately 8 percent of U.S. households. This demand is equivalent to 28,000 MW of Renewable Energy generation. “Many utilities are struggling with the question of how to cost-effectively sell this new product – too often the problem appears to be that the message is not getting to the right people,” said Capage. “Better targeting is the key. Our data suggest that for each acquired customer, direct mail marketing costs are about 60 percent higher than costs for bill inserts. That means there is plenty of room to improve the targeting of green buyers because even though bill inserts are much cheaper on a per unit basis, the uptake rates are also lower. Market penetration rates will increase significantly, and sales costs per customer will come down when targeting improves.” Platts Research and Consulting/E Source has also conducted extensive market research with residential customers who currently purchase green energy – 1,900 interviews in the past 2 years. “We know the profile of green energy buyers,” said Capage. “It turns out that no matter where you are in North America, the same kind of people are the most likely green energy buyers. Now, the trick for utilities is finding and motivating these people to buy it and it appears there is still considerable room for improvement in that process.”
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